Socialized medicine takes cheap way, restricts access

Indianapolis Star (Indianapolis, IN), December 9, 2009


Fran Quigley recently argued that “(health) care is cheaper and more widely available via government-run health care in countries like Japan and Great Britain” (“Don’t fear socialized medicine,” Nov. 30). But care is only cheaper in countries with socialized medicine because their governments restrict access to it. As a result, patients needlessly suffer.

Great Britain, for instance, routinely denies its citizens lifesaving treatments in order to save money. In early 2008, British authorities refused to approve abatacept, an arthritis drug sold in the United States, even though it’s one of the only drugs clinically proven to improve severe rheumatoid arthritis. Britain’s health-care cost-control agency magnanimously decided that “abatacept could not be considered a cost effective use of (National Health Service) resources.”

Many Britons are prevented from accessing even the most basic health services. In fact, more than a million who need care are currently waiting for hospital admission.

Sally C. Pipes

President & CEO, Pacific Research Institute

San Francisco

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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